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merely said, “I thank you all for less to give relief. He suffered, everything you have done for me.” like an infant, in silence, and his
The journey was taken slowly, only action was to continually and it was only after a couple of make the sign of the cross. days that the party eventually About 9 P.M. the visitors dearrived
their destination. parted, and Khromoff was left Khromoff, who was much affected alone with the
He by the low state of his friend's asked to be raised in his bed. health, desired to pass the first He sat up for a little, but evinight with him in the little wooden dently had not strength for the house which he had prepared for exertion, for he fell back, and rehim. He relates that the old quested to be laid on his left side. man spent much of the night in He lay for a little while in this prayer, and that he could repeat- posture, and then suddenly turned edly catch the words, "I thank on his back. Khromoff noticed a Thee.” He was roused at 5 A.M. distinct change in his eyes, and by the patient, who said that he sent for wax-candles, for the end felt better, adding that the cause was not far off. Kuzmitch once of the improvement was a vision again asked his benefactor to lay that he had seen in the night- him on his right side, and for a watches. His look seemed to be moment he seemed to find satiskeener and his conversation bright- faction in weakly clasping the er, and Khromoff hoped that per- merchant's hand.
Then came a haps he might still live. On the short sharp struggle with the last morning of the 20th January, enemy, a single long-drawn sigh, as Khromoff was leaving for his and Khromoff was left alone. business, he asked that the old “Quietly and peacefully, without man would bless him.
a moan, died the servant of God; rather,” said he, “ bless me.” In his right hand grasped a crucifix, the course of the day the merchant and his left hand lay upon it. ran over several times from his We wept for our father, the man office, but did not speak much of prayer and our instructor, and with Kuzmitch, who was lying then proceeded to prepare his on his hard bed, with his face body for interment.” So runs to the stove. In the afternoon the unvarnished narrative. Khromoff had occasion to go a We learn also that they dressed short distance out of town on the body in a “new white shirt," some business affair, but was soon
but did not employ that upper hastily summoned by his nephew, garment already described as havwho reported that the aged suf- ing a resemblance to a dressingferer had suddenly become worse, gown, and for this reason. While and might at any moment pass Theodore was still alive, Madame away. Khromoff returned home Khromoff once asked him in the at once, and on arrival found the simplicity of her heart, with referlittle cell crowded with anxious ence to his usual attire, “Father, friends who had come to make in the event of death, shalt thou inquiries, having heard of the be clothed in that black dressingserious turn matters had taken. gown?” “Nay,” he replied ; "I Kuzmitch was tossing restlessly am no monk.” And Khromoff carabout, now lying on one side, now ried out his wish the more readily, on the other, but saying nothing. as he well knew the surpassing Khromoft's wife sat by him, power- humility of his strange guest. “Friend,” he had said to him once, Latîsheff at Krasnorjetchinsk. He “I am not great." These two reached their humble home towards incidents have their interest, in evening, and without any ceremony that they are two of the few in- stepped into Kuzmitch's room, stances on which Kuzmitch ever crossed himself, and proceeded to referred to himself.
salute him. The startled occupant, His body was carefully deposited still sitting on a bench, briefly in a chaste coffin of cedar-wood, made answer, “Good day, Father and, by his wisb, his grave is in Israel,” and this “when as yet he the monastery at Tomsk. There had not heard of him or his arrival, was a large assemblage gathered or named his name." A similar on the 23d January to witness the story is told of him, on the occalast rites and to do honour to this sion of a visit which he received well-loved saint. The Archiman- froin a priest who belonged to drite addressed a few words to the Krasnoyarsk. They are probably crowd, in which he briefly alluded the same incident, with merely a to the suffering life of their late difference in the name. The best friend, as also to his travels, for instances of Kuzmitch's remarkthis side of the old man's life had able perspicacity are, however, exercised a strong fascination over related in connection with private the populace.
interviews that he had with people It seems, then, that with one im- who went to consult him when portant exception Theodore Kuz- in difficulty. This makes it the mitch, as he chose to call himself, more probable that he was gifted spoke to no one on the subject of with a very remarkable power his origin, nor ever dropped hints of observation and insight into as to his identity, except occasion- character rather than with any ally of a negative kind. It was supernatural power such as the his secret, and it almost seemed as
Russian is ready if he would carry it with him to to believe in. There was in parthe grave.
On one occasion, ticular one woman, a Government Madame Khromoff, somewhat ex- official, who resided for some time asperated at his reticence on this in Krasnorjetchinsk, and who used topic, said, "Father dear, disclose to call on him frequently to ask his to me at least the name of thy guar- blessing on any new projects she dian angel."
* That God knows,' was about to undertake. She was his quiet reply, and more than recounts how he often seemed to this he would confide to no one. foresee her wants, and sometimes
It was only natural that round gave her advice in epigrammatic the story of the life of such an sayings. unusual personage should cluster Another somewhat extreme epia tangled growth of fanciful and sode is to the effect that Khromfar-fetched tales. He was popu- off, intending to visit Kuzmitch larly credited with a marvellous on one particular occasion when power of foresight, which was pro- passing through Krasnorjetchinsk bably nothing more, as is often the on his way to the mines, suggested case, than deep insight into char- to his wife, who was to accompany acter. Thus they say in all him, that she should take a linen simplicity that on one occasion a shirt of the finest quality as a gift priest named Israel, who was for the old man. But she conformerly attached to the Cathedral sidered that it would be better of Archangel, desired to see the to supply him with a garment old man while yet he was with of some thicker material, and
so took a coarser woollen article. sent to the Irkutsk Institute to To her surprise, when making be educated, which she only left the presentation, she was to be married to a naval officer minded by the aged recipient serving in the Amur province. that her husband's wish had been "And,” says the chronicler, "in that she should provide for him a 1871 there arrived in Tomsk this shirt of fine linen, and that there- young damsel and her husband, fore she ought to have accom- and she took her mother back to plished his desire.
“But,” he live with her, and so was fulfilled added, “for me, who am now a the prophecy of the old man Theovagrant, what you have given is dore Kuzmitch." more than meet."
Two other sayings of his may Again, in the year 1867, Khrom- be recorded. He showed intimoff happened to call on a brother ate knowledge of all matters conmerchant in Moscow, and in the nected with the State, and frecourse of conversation began to quently discussed political questalk about this strange individual. tions. He was once heard to reThe man whom he was visiting mark, “But the beloved imperial said that when he was in business service is not without its needs;" in Krasnoyarsk, he had called on and once again, more significantly, Kuzmitch, who confronted him “ The house of Romanoff is firmly with these extraordinary words, rooted, and deep are its roots." “Why didst thou take that copper money? it was not for thee.” Who was this mysterious saint, “ And,” confessed the Siberian this reader of men's thoughts, this trader, “I did verily on one occa- prophet, this unknown personage sion lay hands on money that was without beginning of days? There not mine, but you may be sure are some people who know or that no one knew about it!" think that they know everything,
One of the many visitors to the and the Tomsk populace will tell cell in Khromoff's garden was a you without any hesitation that highly respected lady member of he was none other than Alexthe community in Tomsk. Ac- ander I. This is the creed of all cording to her own account, she Siberia as to that strange individonce omitted to make the sign of ual. And so the people call his the cross on entering Kuzmitch's cell “ Alexander's House,” have cell, when he addressed her thus : covered its walls with portraits of “And tell me, lady, which Tzar the Emperor (and now you do not honourest thou the more, the wonder that you see a resemblance worldly or the heavenly ?” Taken between him and Theodore Kuzmuch aback, she replied, “Dear mitch), and venerate the relics of father, the heavenly." Upon this the departed great in the manner he answered, “How is it that thou that only Russians can. Khromoff didst not do honour to the heavenly himself is mainly responsible for Tzar; thou camest and didst not this belief, for he has declared pray." And much more he spoke that shortly before death the selfto her in a similar strain. An- named Theodore Kuzmitch gave other time she took her young him papers showing clearly that he daughter to see him, and the aged was none other than his Emperor : hermit turning to the mother said, these papers Khromoff took back “See, beloved, this little bird to St Petersburg with him. It will ultimately grow to feed and has been the lot of almost every shelter thee." Later the girl was Russian Emperor to have it said of him that he did not die accord- Church?”i Surrounding himself ing to official bulletin ; but for with a body of young Ministers, those who love this sort of mys- Alexander pushed his reforms into tery a better case can hardly be every department of the State. made out than in the instance of Political and educational instituAlexander I.
tions were remodelled, and the Born in the year 1777, a son council of the Empire was formed, of Paul by his marriage with which, including the chief digniMaria of Wurtemburg, he soon taries of the State, became the showed himself to be possessed of legislative power in the country. a mind of his own. He received But even more in foreign affairs a liberal education at the hands of was it felt that with Alexander's his grandmother, the Empress accession there had begun a new Catherine, with the assistance of régime. In July 1801 he put an foreign tutors. In the year 1793 end to hostilities with England, he married Elizabeth of Baden, and being desirous to remain at and was called to succeed his least outwardly on good terms father on the throne in 1801. with France, commenced negotiaAt first everything augured well. tions respecting the indemnificaThe charitable young ruler com- tion of Bavaria, Wurtemburg, and menced his reign by a series of Baden in Germany, and Naples generous reforms, that were espe- in Italy. Napoleon showed very cially welcome after the somewhat little sincerity in the matter, and austere rule of his father. The Alexander joined the Coalition of country was again opened up to 1805 ; but at the Battle of Austerforeigners, and permission to travel litz the combined Austrian and abroad was granted in turn to Russian forces were routed by Russians. The strict press cen
the First Consul. The following sorship was relaxed, and the secret year, Alexander, who, feeling that police service was in part allowed to Napoleon must be crushed, still fall into abeyance. But there were inclined to war, allied himself with even further-reaching schemes. The Prussia, only to be again defeated at question of the emancipation of the Eylau and Friedland. The Treaty serfs was mooted, and, if not a fait of Tilsit (1807) was the outcome, accompli until 1861, it now first on which occasion Alexander and assumed the air of probability, and Napoleon talked together for two much was done to alleviate their hours on a raft. Its articles delot. Very lenient also was his creed the fall of Prussia, a few attitude towards Sectarians and States being left to Frederic Dissenters. “Reason and experi- William III. out of Napoleon's ence," says one of his edicts, “have deference to Alexander's wish. for a long while proved that the The Tzar soon after declared war spiritual errors of the people, on England, and thus reversed his which official sermons only cause previous policy, in order to fall to take deeper root, cannot be into line with that of France. cured and dispelled except by This change in external politics forgiveness, good examples, and involved a change in his home adtolerance. Does it become a Gov- visers. He also attacked Sweden, ernment to employ violence and the ally of England, and it was at cruelty to bring back these wan- this time that Finland came into dering sheep to the fold of the the possession of Russia (1809).
1 Rambaud's History of Russia, tr. by L. B. Lang, ii. 312.
While letting Napoleon bear the Through his influence Russia brunt of a contest with Austria, had become the leading Power on Alexander entered into conflict the Continent. This was the suwith Turkey, and this war con- preme moment of his authority : tinued until the Peace of Buch- soon after a great change came arest (1812).
over the liberal-minded Tzar. The Not for long was it possible Congresses of Aix-la-Chapelle that France and Russia should (1818) and Troppau (1820) had thus remain in league. Many served to show the influence of causes led to an open rupture the man as a factor in European Mutual mistrust and jealousy, to- politics ; but on the other hand gether with the more personal such demonstrations as attended incident of the abandonment of the reaction in Germany in favour Napoleon's projected marriage with of constitutional government were the sister of Alexander, had mainly little tasteful to this champion of served to bring this about. The divine right.
divine right. "He grew gloomy “ Patriotic War” followed, with and suspicious. His last illusions the burning of Moscow, and the had flown, his last liberal ideas destruction of the Grand Army were dissipated. After the Con(1813). Thereafter Alexander made gresses of Aix-la-Chapelle and an offensive and defensive alli- Troppau he was no longer the with Frederic William of
It was at Troppau Prussia, and the struggle with the that Metternich announced to him, conqueror was renewed. During a with calculated exaggeration, the short armistice the allies had time mutiny of the Semenovski, his to repair their once more shattered favourite regiment of Guards. forces (Lützen, 1813): it was the From that time he considered lull before the final tempest, which himself the dupe of his generous soon broke ominously on Bona- ideas, and the victim of universal parte. Spain had now been lost ingratitude. He had wished to to him, the Prince of Sweden had liberate Germany, and German joined the Coalition, Austria had opinion had turned against him. again become restive. This time :. He had sought the sympathy fortune favoured the Coalition, and of vanquished France, and at Aixthe occupation of Paris and down- la-Chapelle a French plot had been fall of Napoleon quickly succeeded discovered against him. He had one another. Round Alexander longed to restore Poland, and Pocentred the consequent diplomatic land only desired to free herself and political arrangements. By completely."1 The result was that the Congress of Vienna he rested the Emperor, who had moved too content with only a portion of fast for his slow-stepping country, Poland, and in the end carried out faced round, and completely remore loyally than the other two versed his youthful home - policy co-partitioners (Prussia and Aus- of toleration. The revolt in tria) the terms of that Treaty Greece unconsciously served to which bore on the ill-fated land. bring him into complete opIn 1815 men saw the restoration position with the feeling of his of Poland under Alexander as people. They were strongly in king, who presented the country sympathy with the weaker party with a new constitution.
in this infamous struggle, whereas
1 Op. cit., ii. 320. VOL. CLXI.-NO. DCCCCLXXVI.